In 2009, there were more than 33,000 traffic accident fatalities involving drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The cost of these accidents includes lives and loved ones lost, the cost of medical care, rehabilitation and long-term care and the cost of property damage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that roughly $41 billion is spent every year in medical expenses and work-loss costs because of car accidents in Massachusetts and elsewhere.
Still, a number of states are passing new laws that increase the speed limit on highways to as much as 85 miles per hour, according to Automotive Industry Today. Speeding is the cause of roughly a third of all traffic accidents on our roadways.
Our Boston car accident attorneys realize that this is no time to be lifting bans, regulations, rules and laws that govern driving habits. This is a time in which we need to enforcement the current laws that already exist. While none of us like to be told what to do; it is the careless and negligent operators that ruin lives and devastate families. Putting up with a few intrusive laws is well worth the life-saving effort.
The NHTSA recommends the following safety protocols to help cut down on the number of incidents, injuries, fatalities and costs associated with car accidents:
–Step up with seat belt laws. As it stands now, 31 states currently enforce primary seat laws. A primary law means that a police officer can pull you over without the presence of any other traffic violation and give you a ticket for not wearing a seat belt. A secondary seat belt law means that an officer can only pull you over and ticket you for not wearing a seat belt only if the driver commits another traffic infraction.
–Require that all children be placed in age and size appropriate booster seats and car seats. Every state currently has a child restraint or safety belt law. State laws differentiate significantly, depending on the age of the child. Some states have varying safety requirements and penalties for failing to properly sit your child into a seat belt. Some states have implemented only secondary child restraint laws.
-Enact mandatory motorcycle helmet laws. According to the CDC, the risk of brain or head injury decreases by nearly 70 percent for motorcycle drivers who ride while wearing a helmet.
-Do not increase speed limits. Increased speed limits lead to an increased number of traffic accidents. Speeding drastically reduces a driver’s ability to react. Speeding is one of the top contributors to fatal motor-vehicle accidents in the United States.
Car accidents are the number one cause of death for those ages 5- to 34-years-old in the United State. It is estimated, by the CDC, that more than 2 million adults were treated in emergency rooms after being involved in a motor-vehicle accident in 2009.
In 2009, these accidents resulted in a total fatal accident cost in Massachusetts at nearly $400 million. Roughly $6 million went to medical costs and the other $388 million as work loss costs.
If you have been injured in a car accident in the Boston area, contact Massachusetts Car Accident Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-877-617-5333.
More Blog Entries:
The NTSB Releases Most Wanted Drivers List – Includes Boston Drunk Drivers, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, July 8, 2011
U.S. DOT Targets Telematics Detroit 2011 to Raise Awareness of Car Accidents in Boston and Elsewhere, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, June 17, 2011
SUVs to Better Protect Motorists Involved in a Boston Car Accident, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, June 14, 2011